Chinese peacekeepers help complete camp restoration project in Gao

China Military Online
Yao Jianing
Chinese and Bangladeshi peacekeepers provide security during the camp restoration project in Gao. 

By Liu Xiaoshuai

GAO, Jan. 8 (ChinaMil) -- The 6th Chinese peacekeeping engineering detachment to Mali, the Bangladeshi infantry battalion, the Senegalese engineering company, and the Cambodian explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) company have successfully completed the repair mission of a block trench south of the Super Camp of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) in Gao after a month of concerted efforts.

It is reported that they excavated a block trench with a length of 700 meters, a width of 4 meters, and a depth of 2.5 meters. On its outside, a block wall with 1.5 meters high and 3 meters wide with wire mesh was also needed.

In accordance with the project assignments from the MINUSMA, the Chinese engineering detachment was responsible for the excavation of the trench and the construction of the wall; the Bangladeshi infantry battalion was responsible for safeguarding the construction area; the Senegalese engineering company was responsible for setting up the wire mesh; and the Cambodian EOD company was responsible for searching and clearing explosives in the construction area.

Zhang Biao, head of the 6th Chinese peacekeeping engineering detachment to Mali, said that "With the authorization of the Sector East Command of the MINUSMA, the Chinese engineering detachment led the construction task. This required that we conduct unified command in order to promote coordinated construction."

After years of rain erosion, the original block trench outside the Super Camp in Gao was severely blocked by sediment and basically lost its original defense function. Moreover, it was very urgent that the south side of the campbe repaired because the current security situation in Gao is grim.

Zeng Linsong, the Chinese official in charge of construction, said that "Given that the construction area is covered by sandy soil, it was difficult to drive dump trucks and other wheeled vehicles through it because they usually got trapped. This tested driver's operation skills and raised the difficulty level of the construction."

It’s learnt that the Chinese peacekeeping engineer detachment used atrack bulldozer to open up two roads, greatly improving construction efficiency.

In addition, the quick-reaction force of the Chinese peacekeeping engineer detachment and the Bangladeshi infantry battalion organized safety and defense drills at the construction site from time to time in order to effectively deal with security threats. Such drills focused on early warning, rapid evacuation, warning and eviction, and treatment of the injured.

Currently, it is very hot and sunny in Gao in day time. During the construction, officers and soldiers had to wear helmets and flak suits at all times and work an average of nine hours a day. As for officers and soldiers carrying out manual operations and operators of the engineering equipment, everyone’s flak suit would be covered with a layer of dust and their camouflage clothing with sweat stains after just one day of work on the construction site.

The MINUSMA spoke highly of the quality and efficiency of the construction task. "Your construction methods are scientific and efficient, enriching the relevant content of our standard operating procedures," said the director of the Engineering Department of the MINUSMA’s Sector East.


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